I do not care about low carb things, let me be incredibly clear.
Legit I'd prefer to eat this with a scoop of nutritionally void white rice in the center.
BUT. There are more people than me in this family and life and world, and other people enjoy eating nutritionally dense foods that taste great and aren't super full of carbs. Like this! Flavorful, simple, light soup.
Soup in the summer might seem strange, but there are always a few times where it's rainy or the AC gets to you (omg the sunburn chills) or a mid-summer sinus infection sets in that soup just seems right even in the hot weather, right? This is the soup for that occasion. Light enough and simple enough for summer but with all the coziness that soup offers.
You need ground beef, as lean or fatty as you'd like based on your preference. Then cabbage, a spicy red chili pepper, scallion, garlic, a lime, beef broth, fish sauce, and soy sauce, and some sugar. The broth here is nice and basic and tastes GREAT without being complicated at all to make.
First! Heat a large soup pot to medium-high heat with some olive oil and add the beef. Cook the beef until it's browned and cooked through, breaking it up with a spoon as you go.
While the beef is cooking, shred the cabbage, slice the red pepper, mince the garlic, cut the lime into wedges, and slice the scallions. Separate the white and dark green parts of the scallions into 2 piles - we'll save the green parts of the onions to add in right at the end of the cooking time.
When the beef is cooked, add the cabbage, red pepper, garlic, and white part of the scallion to the pot.
Stir together for about 5 minutes to soften the veggies, then add the liquids and sugar.
Soup! Simmer the soup uncovered for 10 minutes or so at medium-low heat until the veggies are soft but not mushy. Taste the broth to see if you'd like to add any more soy sauce for salt, then stir in all of the green parts of the scallion, and serve!
Lime wedges are imperative to the success of this dish - the acid cuts through the fatty beef and salty broth just perfectly, so don't skip it. I also top this with a few extra sliced red peppers and scallions, but that ends up being pretty spicy for some people.
I can't tell you how wonderful the flavor of this broth is. It tastes right with such a great balance of flavors, and beef + cabbage is such a classic combination in lots of dishes all over the world.
Soup for you!
Low Carb Chinese Cabbage Beef Soup
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small head savoy cabbage thinly sliced
- 3 scallions sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1 red chili pepper thinly sliced (seeds removed for the dish to not be too spicy, your call)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups beef stock
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- lime wedges for serving
- Preheat a large soup pot to medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the beef and cook for about 7 minutes until browned and crumbly. Break the beef up with a spoon as you go.
- When the beef is cooked, add the white parts of the scallions, the cabbage, pepper, and garlic to the pot. Stir for about 5 minutes to soften the veggies, then add the stock, water, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.
- Stir the soup and let it come to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 10 minutes or so to cook the veggies through. Taste the stock and add more soy sauce if needed. Right before serving, stir in the scallion greens.
- Serve with lime wedges for spritzing. Enjoy!